I am not surprised by the news and I bet so wouldn't be many others. After all, a ruling party's politician attending opposition parties' (mind you, not State or public) events is not exactly de rigueur.
But Zaid Ibrahim might have deliberately done so to prove a point or instigate a reaction that he had wanted. Only Zaid would know why he has attended both the PKR and DAP functions.
His ejection from UMNO is bad on one hand but good on the other!
It’s bad because UMNO does need a decent man like Zaid to put a moderating hand on many of its excesses and lend an enlightening voice to guide UMNO towards a better future.
It’s good for the opposition because it’s UMNO’s loss and their gain.
Will Zaid Ibrahim join one of the opposition party?
… or will he ‘retire’ from the political arena for a while, to await his recall by UMNO? Remember a bloke by the name of Dr Mahathir Mohamed?
… or to make ‘senior statesman’ comments from the sideline? Remember another bloke by the name of Tuanku Abdul Rahman?
It’s difficult to contemplate Zaid retiring for good to focus just on his law business, considerable as this may be, because when there’s politics in his blood, he just can’t (bear to) divorce himself completely from the ‘game’. What more, this man has a brave social-political conscience.
Let’s hypothesize that he joins an opposition party – remember, just hypothesizing because like Dr M, he may well be recalled by UMNO.
Should he join PKR or DAP?
If he wants to join the opposition, on the surface, the odds are that he will join PKR.
But PKR is a one-man party so Zaid may wish to consider whether he wants to become a member of a cult group?
Consider this – when Malaysiakini published PKR caught in a royal dilemma, one of its readers, Marty Lee was given to write in, saying:
Reading this report makes me really wonder whether Anwar is another flip-flop politician. So far to date, he has promised us (the rakyat) a lot but has yet to deliver and has never really given us a straight answer.
On why Sept 16 failed, he has flip-flopped saying first the PM would not meet him. Then he said he can't reveal the names.
Now he says people have signed a crossover list but don't want their names revealed. Once again no solid answers, just a lot of ‘ifs' and ‘buts'.
On the issue of PAS wanting to ban alcohol in Selangor, he said it couldn't happen because it is a state matter but then said it might be good because it will stop teen-drinking. Once again he flip flops.
He can't give us a straight answer. PAS has said that they will try this new law in Shah Alam so why isn't Anwar putting out a firm statement that says ‘No!'?
Now on the issue of the royals, he says, that they should be given immunity but subject to our constitution and laws. What does that mean?
It is another flip flop answer that can go either way. It could mean they have full immunity or that they have immunity but it depends on our laws.
Anwar, why are you trying to appeal to either side? That is not the way of a leader. A leader makes decisions, even ones that people may not like, because it is the right thing to do.
A leader should not make decisions based fear of losing popularity. DSAI is riding on a high of public support but the wave will crash if he does not start acting like a leader should.
Well, Marty has consigned him to the dubious rank of flip-floppers, like AAB. Man man lai.
So … should a man like courageous social-politically conscience-pricked Zaid join such a man man lai flip flopping party?
Really, the obvious choice is the DAP where Zaid Ibrahim can play a far more meaning role.
Yes, the DAP is a party of ascetic monk-like Spartan politicians but which badly needs an injection of Malay-ness (no worries about their Malaysian-ness as they are good upright Malaysians though they should learn to smile a bit more and perhaps even samba sedikit lah).
Zaid Ibrahim should have a leadership role in the DAP where he can transform its non-Malay image into a multi-ethnic one to support the DAP’s already multi-ethnic ideology.
Zaid joining the DAP will be a sea change for the party and for Malaysians.
As I said, the sacking of Zaid Ibrahim is UMNO’s loss and the opposition’s gain.
We wait eagerly to see whether it’s possible for the PKR or DAP to be blessed by his membership.